Search for missing Trumann teen continues

Search for missing Trumann teen continues

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - The search for a Trumann teenager reported missing Saturday continues.

Trumann Police Chief Chad Henson says the 16-year-old missing teen may be with someone who "does not have her best interests at heart," after a search of her computer indicated she had been conversing with someone who was "grooming her for sexual things."

The parents say the teen used a computer she was issued from Jonesboro High School.

"We do not suspect her right now to be in any immediate danger but due to her age and due to the people she's talking to and historically the people we deal with in sexual predators, we are taking this extremely serious, therefore we have used the word 'endangered' and we are making it a lot more active search than we would," Henson said.

On Monday, police said a woman matching the girl's description was seen on video at the I-55 welcome center outside Blytheville early Sunday morning.

However, by Wednesday investigators stated they doubt the woman shown is teen. Henson said his department received a call from a woman who said she was the one in the video and not the missing girl.

A reward of over $4,000 is being offered for the girl's safe return.

According to the teen's parents, their daughter escaped through a bedroom window Saturday night.

She was reported missing on Saturday. Initially, investigators thought she was a runaway and had left of her own will.

Chief Henson said her phone has been turned off and her friends have no idea where she could be.

Trumann Police requested Arkansas State Police to issue a Morgan Nick Amber Alert, but it was determined that the criteria set by ASP were not met for an alert to be issued.

Her parents spoke with Jordan Howington on Monday, begging for the daughter's safe return.

"We just want her back. We just want our daughter back," said the girl's mom. "So if you have any info that will lead to her, the only questions we will ask are the ones that will get us directly to her. If you want the money come get the money we'll gladly give it to you."

"In reality, she was living two lives," said her father. "The one that she was showing us and then the private one. My background it I.T. so I know how to check that stuff, and I keep a track on it. I have filters on our home network, but this was school and I'm not saying JHS didn't have proper filters in place because they do, but you can't, there's no way you can track your child online 100 percent when they have a laptop that is school-issued. It's impossible."

Anyone with information on her whereabouts should contact the Trumann Police Department at 870-483-6423 or call 911 immediately.

A prayer vigil is set for Wednesday, Jan. 31, at NEA Baptist Church, 601 N. Willow Road in Trumann. The parents said it's, "to commune with God and fellowship with each other while praying for the safe return of our daughter.

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